Learning about electronics should be fun for kids and an Arduino board makes it both fun and accessible for all ages. It’s always easier to learn through hands-on activities. Arduino projects provide an engaging way for kids to get more interested in building and manipulating electronics.
Arduino is open-source and easily accessible. Instead of feeling limited, kids are free to get as creative as they want, which is ideal for STEAM activities.
7 Easy Arduino Projects for Kids
Arduino coding projects for kids need to both interesting and easy for beginners. Otherwise, kids might give up before they get started. These seven projects are ideal for any kids new to Arduino and will inspire them to try even more projects later.
You’ll need an Arduino kit and a battery to get started with any of these projects. However, supply lists are included with each project.
1. Electronic Dice
If you’re interested in Arduino UNO projects with code, the Electronic Dice project is a great place to start. This project teaches kids how to build their own electronic die. When kids press the button, the LEDs randomly light up until they stop on a random number. While simple, it’s a great introduction and makes kids feel proud. You can find the instructions and supply list here.
2. Simple Interactive Robot
Who doesn’t love to play with robots? The Simple Interactive Robot is one of the best Arduino programming projects. It’s extremely simple to do and makes a great introduction to both electronics and programming. You’ll need some 3D printed parts, which you can do with Makeblock’s mCreate 3D printer. When kids finish, their robot can walk, avoid anything in its path and even make sounds. Makezine lists all the instructions and supplies needed.
3. Portable SMS Device
While kids may have their own smartphone, do they really know how it works? You’ll need a SIM card in addition to the standard supplies, but you can create your very own Portable SMS Device. Much like a phone, the device can both send and receive texts. This is one of the more popular Arduino UNO projects with code. It doesn’t take long to put together and kids might just feel like the next Steve Jobs by the time they’re finished. The Instructables instructions are easy to follow.
4. Remote Controlled Robot
The Remote Controlled Robot is a great option for kids who also love Legos. Of course, you can also custom print pieces with a 3D printer, such as Makeblock’s mCreate. The small robot works much like an RC car. It works over WiFi and can be put together in minutes. You’ll want an Arduino Nano board to better fit the size of a small RC car.
Instructables lists the steps to make it easy to build the robotic car quickly. The best part is kids can program it to go as fast or slow as they want. You may even want to build your own roads to play on.
5. Breath Controlled Windmill
Imagine if you could blow into a microphone and cause a windmill to spin. You can with the Breath Controlled Windmill. While one of the simpler Arduino projects for kids, it’s great for beginners and teaches how sounds can be used with electronics.
LED lights make the windmill look great and make it stand out even more when it’s spinning. When you finish, turn off all the lights, blow into the mic and enjoy the show. While it doesn’t technically spin, the lights make it seem as if it is. You can find the project instructions here.
6. Digital Pet
If you ever got in on the Tamagotchi trend, either the original or the more recent revival, the idea of building your own version is probably exciting. With the Digital Pet project, you can. While adults will likely love this one too, it’s one of the most engaging Arduino coding projects for kids too. Since parts need to be soldered together, make sure kids have adult supervision.
The final project looks like an old intercom speaker, but features a screen to display the pet. You can interact with it through feeding, monitoring it health and more. Get the instructions here.
7. Bluetooth Controlled Toy Car
If the Remote Controlled Robot wasn’t quite enough of a car for you, try the Bluetooth Controlled Toy Car. Instead of WiFi, this car is controlled via Bluetooth. Not only does the car move around using two motors, it also features LED lights for some fun in the dark. All you need is an Android device to start driving the car.
Once again, create some roads to help kids learn to navigate their new car. Circuit Digest details exactly how to make this fun project.
Arduino Project With mBlock – Meet LED
Introduction Of Project
If you’re eager to get started with your very first Arduino project, look no further. The Arduino, Meet LED project is ideal for parents and kids to learn together. It’s one of the simplest Arduino projects for kids. As the name implies, the project teaches kids how to use an Arduino board to turn an LED light on and off.
You’ll need a computer (Mac or Windows), an Arduino UNO, an LED light (any color will work), a USB connector (comes with an Arduino kit) and Makeblock’s mBlock software. The software helps kids learn to code through a drag and drop method. You can use manual coding too. However, you’ll need to software in order for any code to communicate with your Arduino board.
Once the mBlock software is installed, connect your Arduino board to your computer to program it.
1. LED Light Setup
Since you’ll be turning an LED light on, you’ll need to connect the LED light to the board. The longer leg connects to PIN 13 and the shorter leg to GND. Parents should help younger kids with this one.
2. Connect Arduino with mBlock
Now, select Arduino in mBlock. Next, choose Events and drag the “When Arduino starts up” to the Blocks section.
Now, it’s time to program the light itself. Open the Pins group. Drag “set digital pin 9 output as high” under your first block. Change “9” to “13.” Choose Upload and be amazed!
4. What Next?
Now that your LED light is on, it’s time to turn it off. Go back to mBlock and look at your second block of code. Notice that it says “high”? In this case, high means on. So, if you want to turn off your light, choose “high” and change it to “low.” Now, your light is off.
5. How Can We Make the LED Light on and off?
Arduino projects are made to be built upon. Let’s go another step. Add another block of code below the second one that says “set digital pin 13 output as low.” Choose Upload. While you won’t technically see anything happen, the Arduino actually turned the light on and off so fast, you didn’t see it.
You’ll need to slow the process down to see your LED light dance. In the Controls section, drag the “wait 1 seconds” in between your two digital pin code blocks. This tells the light to turn on, wait one second and then turn off.
6. How to Make the LED Light Repeating This
You’ve finally gotten to see your LED light turn on and off, but you probably want a little more. All you have to do is create a loop. Drag the “repeat 10” block directly underneath your “when Arduino starts up” block. When you look at the code, you’ll see that it now repeats your on and off instructions 10 times. However, there’s still one piece missing.
Right now, your code doesn’t tell your Arduino to wait between each repetition. Simply add one more “wait 1 seconds” block under the “set digital pin 13 output as low” block. Now, choose Upload and watch your light dance.
Makeblock wants to make it easy for kids to learn more about how electronics and programming work. Arduino projects for kids are the perfect way to get started. Check out Makeblock Official Website for more information.